36 million journeys are made through London’s Blackwall Tunnel every year making it one of the busiest and most congested sections of London’s road network. It is also one of the worst locations in the city for breakdowns which cause nearly 400 hours of delays and cost Londoners almost £7m in wasted time. TfL’s Travel Demand Management Team reviewed historical data on breakdowns in the tunnel and found that vehicles running out of petrol were one of the highest frequency causes.
In order to target this hyper local problem, we partnered with Waze and used their advertising platform to remind drivers approaching the tunnel to refuel. As a result, from end of May 2017 to end of November 2017, we saw 459 Waze users re-route to a nearby petrol station, drastically reducing the risk of breakdowns from fuel shortages in the tunnel.
Due to the success of the Blackwall Tunnel adverts, we are now looking at how we can use advertising in the Waze app to provide peak time congestion information to drivers and encourage them to avoid the busiest times at specific locations in order to have a quicker journey.
Start-ups and SMEs can bring lots of value to large organisations and TfL is no exception. Through our open data activity, there are over 600 apps in London using TfL data with an incredible 13,700 registered users of our open data. This has generated an economic benefit of up to £130m per year in terms of customer, TfL and city wide value through new businesses being developed by using TfL’s open data.
It’s vital that TfL continues to engage with the app developer community, academics and others through promoting the right challenges, access to the right people and tools, and continually seeking feedback from our open data users. I know we do this through several channels such as the Tech Forum, events and this blog but I’m hoping that we do some more. So, it was great to be involved in two events this weekend:
It’s great to see so many customer-facing apps using TfL’s open data. With over 600 apps in areas of public transport, active travel and healthier streets, we are continually focused on releasing new data.
There are lots of people involved in the ecosystem, ranging from app developers and start-ups to accelerator programmes.
Back in March I posted this blog about Nitrous and their accelerator programme, which was focusing on some key transport challenges, and asking for applications to the programme. This short video looks at some of the participants in the accelerator programme, filmed at the event at City Hall on Thursday 22 June, as guests were treated to an evening of presentations and networking.
It was great to be part of London Tech Week through the excellent Hack Day on Friday June 16, put together by the teams at Ticketmaster and Transport for London. With over 600 apps powered by our data in the market place, I always look forward to these events as it allows me to raise awareness of TfL’s open data approach providing the opportunity for organisations and individuals to develop their own creative solutions.
This has helped to form new businesses, create jobs and launch new customer-facing travel products, giving customers more choice on their devices. A great part of this process is that this type of event is open to everyone at no cost, so we saw students, corporate professionals, freelancers, academics and participants from other sectors.
As part of London Tech Week, TfL are teaming up with the market-leading ticketing company in the UK, Ticketmaster, to host a hackathon at their London HQ. Bring your ideas to life at the London Hack Day, hosted by TfL and Ticketmaster on Friday June 16.
We recently made available the route data for all our current Cycle Superhighways and the new Quietway 1 so developers can accurately map the existing cycle network in their apps, making it easier for cyclists to find and use these routes. The data will be regularly updated as more Cycle Superhighways and Quietways are completed in the coming years.
The promotion of these cycling routes is part of the delivery of the Mayor’s new blueprint for a healthy London, which will see increasing physical activity put at the centre of a wide range of GLA and TfL policy, setting out how it could transform the lives of millions of Londoners. The new route data complements the extensive data we already provide on cycling in our API and as downloadable files. Here’s an overview of what’s available.